I attended a University open day which had a welcoming feel, and I was able to meet lectures and current students. The day gave me all the information I needed and ultimately made my decision to study at the University of Sunderland. Prior to this, I had just completed a Sports Leading Apprenticeship at my local Primary School (Eppleton Academy). This apprenticeship all but confirmed that I wanted a career in PE teaching. Therefore, I decided to study Sports Coaching as this could lead onto a PGCE in PE teaching. I loved my apprenticeship as no day was ever the same. I strongly believe that my apprenticeship matured me as a person, as I was a role model to many younger students and therefore had to be professional yet approachable each day.
As any typical kinesthetic learner, the practical elements were the ones that I enjoyed the most. Whether that be coaching young people or fellow students, I embraced every coaching session. I always ensured that my sessions were well planned and that all participants’ needs were catered for. I believe that this has helped me in my current career. Another element of the course that I particularly enjoyed was Sports Psychology. This was a topic that I had heard was interesting, but I had never been taught this until I joined the University. Questions around what goes on in a sports person’s head, how does this affect performance, were elements that I found particularly interesting.
The most important advice I would give to any prospective students would be to get involved with the Universities’ societies. The University of Sunderland has a range of societies that any student can take part in. I played for the Universities Football 1st Team for the duration of my time at University. I absolutely loved travelling the country and competing in BUCS each week. Joining societies provides you with a sense of relief from your academic studies and enables you to meet people with similar interests. I met people of whom I keep in touch with to this day.
In terms of academic advice, I would suggest that you attend every lecture and seminar. Missing these sessions can put you at a disadvantage and I guarantee by doing so you will miss out on vital information. Additionally, always ensure you complete all assignments with time to spare. This enables you to re-read your work and make improvements.
After graduating I went on to complete my Teacher Training studies at Durham University, where I graduated with QTS. My time in Further Education has developed my love for teaching and learning. I want to inspire the young people of today and guide their learning and progress to ensure that they become the best people that they can be. My long-term aims are to become an established PE Teacher in a Secondary School (wherever that may be) and continue to inspire hundreds of current pupils.
The University of Sunderland opened my eyes to various teaching and coaching styles, all of which I use on a regular basis. I have had a truly unforgettable experience, of which I will forever treasure."
Published 12 April 2021